Hunter McGrady & Shan Boodram | 2021 MAKERS Conference Finale

Shan Boodram, intimacy expert, and Hunter McGrady, a model, entrepreneur, podcast host and fashion designer, have a no-holds-barred conversation about body positivity, parenting during COVID-19, and intimacy after children. They’ll play a rowdy game of “Would You Rather” and answer the questions we’re all afraid to ask!

Video Transcript

SHAN BOODRAM: What's going on, Hunter?

HUNTER MCGRADY: Hey. I'm so excited to be here with you.

SHAN BOODRAM: Hey, girl, hey. And thank you so much to MAKERS for facilitating this dialogue. I am so excited to dive into this with you, because I am also a new mom. I have an 11-- I don't know if I should say new anymore-- my baby is going to be a year in just a few weeks' time. I know your baby's a little bit younger.

But I'm part of the pandemic pregnancy cohort. So I think that there's a lot of value that so many people can get from this dialogue. So thank you for offering your time.

HUNTER MCGRADY: Oh my gosh. First of all, 11 months is still a new-- I think I'll be saying a new mom until he's at least, like, five years old. I'm like, I'm a new mom. So--

SHAN BOODRAM: I'm going to say 20. So 5 is definitely a lot more--


SHAN BOODRAM: They're 35 years old saying, new mom. So I definitely concur with that. So I think that one of the things that I have personally noticed is how much different motherhood is than what you expected. Even though we're told so much, and we're talked about it, and our mom shared tales with us, and the women in our lives have shared tales with us-- when we're actually walking the walk ourselves, it can feel a lot different.

So I'm curious for you in particular, because you are this incredible, fierce advocate for body positivity. And you have meant so much to the community in the work that you have done and just championing and owning your body. But when it comes to pregnancy, there are a lot of changes that your body undergoes. So I'm curious and want to check in with you-- how has that relationship been like for you, and what are some of the things that surprised you about your relationship with your body after pregnancy?

HUNTER MCGRADY: You know, it's interesting. I think that, you know, as humans and women, we really meet ourselves so many different times in our lives, right? We meet ourselves pre-pregnancy. And then we meet ourselves again during pregnancy, because we're like, whoa, this is, like, completely different from everything I know. It's me plus one. Then you meet yourself after pregnancy, which is another completely different thing.

And I think that I've had to really learn to give myself grace every single time. And I think the one thing is is I can't stand, like, the bounceback culture. You know, right away, get back into things and get moving. I'm like, I am so exhausted, and I want to enjoy this time with my baby. And you know what? I'm actually really appreciative of my body right now.

And I'm so loving my body at this moment. I'm really proud of my body. But you know, that doesn't mean that I don't have my bad days or days where I'm like, oh, wow, things look different. Things feel different. So I'm really, honest to god, I'm meeting myself again.

And I've done my confidence, my self-love journey with me up until the point of pregnancy. And now I'm kind of like, hmm, OK, I went back a little bit. And now it's like, how do I continue moving forward? And what does this look like? And you know, every day, it's something new. But I'm enjoying the journey, and I think that's what's so important.

SHAN BOODRAM: Can you tell me a little bit more about going back a little bit? Because I think a lot of people have an expectation that if you've done the work in terms of body positivity, that that work keeps going forward. But with new challenges, you might face setbacks. And what did a setback look like for you in terms of your relationship with loving, and owning, and feeling proud of the body that just created another life?

HUNTER MCGRADY: Yeah. You know, I think that's one of the biggest misconceptions about body positivity is it's like, well, you're positive about it, right? You wake up confident 24/7, right? And it's like, no, no, no, no. I have my bad days, trust me.

And I think that's what's so important to remember is, like, you don't know the good days without bad days, right? You don't know light without darkness. It's just how life works. And you know, for me, I think the biggest setback-- I mean, it wasn't a setback in the grand scheme of things, but for me personally was my breastfeeding journey.

It was not an easy one for me. And I went into it thinking, oh my gosh, this is going to be awesome. I'm going to be able to, like, breastfeed my baby so easily. My body is going to be able to just provide this for me like it's done everything else in the past. And when it didn't-- I mean, it did for a very short amount of time, but when it didn't, I was like, whoa. OK. Huh.

We have to, like, reframe our mind here. And I really was really hard on myself. I felt like my body was failing not only me, but my baby. And it's taken me a minute to get out of that. I would say-- I mean, I breastfed for about two months, and it's taken me about two months to finally be like, OK, you know what? What's important is that your baby is fed.

Your body is doing what it needs to do, you know, and going through what it needs to go through. And honor that. You know, that journey wasn't for you at that moment. And you have to let go of those expectations.

You know, as a society, we have so many expectations on us. And the moment you can kind of like strip down and say, OK, I'm just going to accept whatever comes my way, you know, your life really opens up.

SHAN BOODRAM: Well, thank you for sharing that. That was a really beautiful image and something I know so many people struggle with. So I know how impactful it is to hear somebody that they look up to, we all look up to really admit that it's not easy. And a lot of times, you have to redo the work that you already did or invite new work into your life, because it's a very difficult journey.

And I'm glad that you're coming out on the other side, that you're loving on yourself, and giving yourself space to be enough for all that you are, not just to yourself, but to your family-- so shoutout to you. I want to say, because you ended off on saying opening up, so I kind of want to go in the opening up realm if you don't mind.

So if you're not familiar, I actually talk about sex and relationships for a living. So I'm a certified sexologist and intimacy educator. But that being said, I'm going to start a song-- feel free to join in because you're giving me Adele vibes today with the hair color, and the vibes, and the energy. So let's talk about sex, baby. Let's talk about you and me.


SHAN BOODRAM: Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. I'm curious if you are down to open up about your sex life for all the MAKERS out there.

HUNTER MCGRADY: Always. Always. I'm an open book.

SHAN BOODRAM: OK. I love it. So we'll play a little game of would you rather, and just give a rapid fire response to it and let's go into it. OK, so would you rather have bad sex for the rest of your life or have bad food for the rest of your life?


SHAN BOODRAM: Would you rather have an orgasm every time someone takes your picture or never orgasm again?

HUNTER MCGRADY: Yes, every time someone takes my photo.

SHAN BOODRAM: I think that would make for a great picture. I think those are viral photos every single time. Would you rather never masturbate again or never have sex again?

HUNTER MCGRADY: Probably never masturbate again.

SHAN BOODRAM: OK, and last one-- would you rather give us the secret tips that you and your partner have found to keeping sex life spicy after having a baby, or would you rather we change the subject?

HUNTER MCGRADY: I'd rather the former.

SHAN BOODRAM: OK, let's do it. Give us the details. How have you been keeping sex a priority in your intimate connection post-baby?

HUNTER MCGRADY: Yeah. You know, it's funny-- my husband was, like, counting down the clock at six weeks. But it wasn't only him counting it down, it was me too. I was really giddy. I mean, sex is a part of our relationship in a very big way. Even during those six weeks postpartum, like, I was giving him hand jobs because it felt like I was a teenager again.

I was like, listen, like, I still want to do this for you, and still enjoy this time, and we literally were, like, giddy, like, teenagers. It was so fun. It was so silly. And we kind of continued that on, and we really realized that, OK, let's kind of dig deep and do some different things.

It's going to be different now. Listen, we're doing it and there is a baby right next to us, sometimes. And you really got to crank that sound machine up. You got to really, like, get very creative with it. I think the one thing is is that, for us at least, it was very important that we continue to really kind of lean on each other during this time and say, listen, like, how are you feeling? How is everything?

I know it's different now. I know it feels different now, but, you know, what else can I do for you? How can I help service you? And I think having an open conversation is really important with your partner. And we're still kind of figuring it out.

We're four months out. But I think it's actually kind of fun. We literally keep likening it to teenagers, like, scattering around the house being like, should we do it in, like, the basement? Should we do it on the couch? Like, where should we do it, you know what I mean? And sometimes it's in the bedroom and the baby is right there.

SHAN BOODRAM: I think that's a really fascinating thing, because it truly does become a get in where you can fit in, which is such a juxtaposition to the pandemic where we were home all the time with our partner with 100% access to sex. And for a lot of couples, that really impacted their sex life, because there was no scarcity.

But when you are a new mom, there's nothing but scarcity. So I love the fact that you're diving into the playfulness of trying to find those moments and those pockets. And yeah, some people don't feel that drive. So if the two of you do, I think it's really beautiful that you're prioritizing that in your relationship.

But one of the main things that stops a lot of new moms, new parents in general, from getting to a space of being intimate partners because they can just get into the flow of just trying to manage life together is ensuring that they are both all hands on deck with the baby together. So the US government is finally trying to pass a national paid family leave policy. Can you talk about why a paid family policy is so important, especially from your own personal experience?

HUNTER MCGRADY: Oh my gosh. I mean, listen, essentially, with what I do-- I'm freelance, so, you know, it's hard because for my husband, his leave was only really a week, and then he extended it through I think it was the New York law or something like that where you could extend it another 15 days or something like that.

But I truly think that it should be how it is in, I want to say, it's, gosh, the UK or Paris-- somewhere where they have, like, a year. Because, really, it's a full-time job being a parent. And you cannot do two full-time jobs. It is physically impossible.

And so you know, if you're like my husband and I who come from a two income household, you really have to have that balance. And so I'm all onboard. I believe there absolutely should be a full family paid leave. I believe that there should be more on the paternal side as well.

I think a lot of times they're just like, the mamas will take care of it. And it's like, no, no, no, no no. For me at least, I'm like dad is 50% of it. So let's continue that. Let's make sure, right, we know that, at least in this household. And yeah, so I think it absolutely should be something that is implemented.

SHAN BOODRAM: Now, I would definitely say Hunter McGrady for president, because I think that we are all exactly where you are with that. But I also don't want to give you any more roles, because I know as a new mom, like, the last thing I want to do is a campaign, last thing I want to do is a new job, a new hobby.

I am completely full. And the fact that you are so full and made the time for this dialogue really means the world. I know that you probably have a baby who needs you right now in so many different ways. And if not, take this time for yourself, girl. Go ahead and give yourself a box of chocolates or just a nap. That would be really nice.

But it was such a joy talking to you. Again, thank you to MAKERS for facilitating this conversation. It's so important. It needs to be amplified in so many different ways, because it's a struggle that a lot of people go through in silence. And today, you were loud, proud, and clear, and that means the world. So shoutout to you, Hunter. Thank you for chatting with me.

HUNTER MCGRADY: Thank you so much, Shan. Had such a lovely time.